Conversation is central to a representative membership organisation like the Federation of Small Business (FSB).
Regular North East tweeters will know FSB development manager Simon Hanson as one of the regional business community’s most informative and prolific tweeters. Mr Hanson is calling on readers of The Journal to nominate their favourite tweeters ahead of this year’s #NEtwitterati list.
“I use twitter for personal and professional use. It’s fantastic to be able to get connected with people so immediately,” said Mr Hanson.
“Particularly for an organisation like the Federation of Small Business, Twitter is great at breaking down the traditional barriers between us and our members. It’s also really useful for us to get in front of Government ministers and raise our issues to them directly.
“When Twitter was in its infancy it was more about one-off messages and statements, and I’ve certainly noticed a shift to a more conversational atmosphere. We encourage our members to be more conversational because it benefits them, in terms of leads, connections and visibility.”
Working closely with small businesses, Mr Hanson realises that for many businesses, time is of the essence - and social media can be one of the last points on the agenda.
He added: “It’s not the easiest thing to see your return on investment in relation to - that’s why some companies can be put off by it.
“However, it’s completely changed the way organisations talk to the public. It used to be the case that organisations would turn to a press release to make an announcement - but that’s not always the case anyone.
“We tell members to form a strategy so they’re not aimlessly spending hours on there with no return. And from a commercial perspective it’s important to think about what success looks like. Using analytics its relatively easy to see where you’re hot and where you’re not. That can focus your efforts.
“Building a profile can be one of the most important activities for small businesses.”
The Twitterati - which will be published in The Journal later this month - highlights the best and most influential North East tweeters in a range of sectors.
People can nominate their five top tweeters by going to www.thejournal.co.uk/business/business-news/search-2014-most-influential-people-8012219 , emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or nominating them on Twitter using the hashtag #NETwitterati.